I took a trip to the Chicago Beer Festival on Saturday. The setting, in the Great Hall of Union Station, was pretty amazing, and spacious enough to limit overcrowding. There weren’t any rarities but solid selections from a few dozen brewers. Wisconsin was well represented by the likes of Lakefront (with owner Jim Klisch manning the taps), Milwaukee Brewing, Capital Brewing and Tyranena. One of the standouts was Hommel Bier, a Belgian ale from Perennial Ales in St. Louis.
The afternoon was a good way to gear up for festival season, and I left before busy beer tasters had their fill and started swerving.
Barley Pop of the Week
Lakefront Brewery made a splash last year with the release of Wisconsinite, a beer brewed entirely with local ingredients. The local angle is great, but the fact of the matter is that the beer is tasty. The weiss has hints of banana and a sweet but refreshing finish. A slight alteration in the brewing process makes the 2013 batch a little less hazy than last year’s batch.
Look for a guide to Milwaukee Beer Week in the next column. There’s a whole lot going on.
I tried the Mikkeller 10 American Pale Ale last week. I’ve been a little disappointed by some of the Mikkeller single hop beers (mostly because of their high price tag) but I really liked the Mikkeller 10. It was balanced, bitter and delicious...and just might be worth the five bucks I paid for it.
I stopped by the Riverwest Filling Station (701 E. Keefe) last week. The beer selection was a good mix, and the place recently underwent a major renovation. I’ll have more next week.
Friday, April 5: Lakefront Brewery brings Wisconsinite to Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 3 to 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 6: Lakefront makes at trip to Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) with samples from noon to 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 6: Free tasting of Michigan beers from 1 to 4 p.m. at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.). There are plenty of good ones out there.
Saturday, April 6: The Uber Tap Room (1048 N. Old World Third St.) pairs 3 Sheeps Brewery beers with four different cheeses at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.